Meghan McCain to Sanders: You are the godfather of the Squad

"The View" co-host criticizes Bernie Sanders for not speaking out against lawmakers who have made anti-Israel statements.

Elad Benari ,

Meghan McCain
Meghan McCain

"The View" co-host Meghan McCain on Wednesday challenged Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for not speaking out against Democratic lawmakers who have made anti-Israel statements, Fox News reported.

McCain singled Sanders out for being "the godfather of the Squad", a reference to the group of Democratic lawmakers known as “The Squad” who are notorious for their anti-Israel statements.

The members of “The Squad” include Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Omar is the member of “The Squad” who most recently caused an uproar when she equated Israel to Hamas and the Taliban before issuing a clarification that she was not making a "moral comparison" between the two

Previously, Omar called Israel's retaliations for Gazan rocket fire on civilians an "act of terrorism," but failed to condemn the rockets themselves, or Hamas' use of Gazan civilians as human shields.

McCain on Wednesday told Sanders that he had a responsibility to condemn such rhetoric because his progressive ideas largely shaped the Squad.

"Sen. Sanders, you are the godfather of the Squad," McCain told Sanders. "You are hyper-progressive socialist, and you're talking about social justice before it was cool. But it feels like the Squad today has moved even to the Left of you. How is it for you to stand by everything AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have said and done, particularly when it comes to Israel," McCain asked.

"I don’t believe that’s what they’re saying. And second of all, it’s not my job to have to defend every member of Congress any more than it is their job to defend every statement that I make," Sanders replied.

McCain also wondered whether Sanders agreed that such "extreme anti-Israel rhetoric" has contributed to the rise in attacks against Jewish Americans.

Sanders said that the attacks are "obviously unacceptable," but said the US needs an "even-handed" policy on Israel. He hoped that the US could work with other countries to try to "bring Israelis and the Palestinians together to bring about peace in that region."

Sanders, who is Jewish, himself has a history of anti-Israel statements. He recently responded to the Muslim Arab riots and violence against Jewish civilians by tweeting that Israel should not evict residents of Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

"The United States must speak out strongly against the violence by government-allied Israeli extremists in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and make clear that the evictions of Palestinian families must not go forward," Sanders wrote in the tweet.

Previously, Sanders said that the United States should be able to determine how Israel uses the aid it gives to the state, and should restrict aid in response to moves that would undermine the peace process.

In 2019, Sanders caused an uproar when he told the J Street conference that the US should redirect its aid to Israel and give it to Gaza instead.

Despite all these, he has refuted claims that he is anti-Israel and insisted that he is simply advocating for a foreign policy “that not only protects Israel, but deals with the suffering of the Palestinian people as well.”